Most Common Questions Regarding Estate Planning
What is a Will? A Will is a legally binding statement directing who will receive your estate at the time of your death. It enables you to appoint a personal representative to carry out those directives. In most instances the Will requires a Probate Action to be filed. What forms of ownership pass outside of Probate? Life Insurance proceeds, Joint ownership of property, IRS's and 401k plans, beneficiary assets, and property in a Trust. What is a Trust? A trust is a documents which appoints a trustee to holds legal title to property for another (beneficiary). Most commonly the person (grantor) who establishes the trust controls the assets funded in to the trust during their lifetime. The grantor will name a successor trustee should they become incapacitated. Most trusts are referred to as inter vivos trust because it begins at the time of execution of the document.
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What are the benefits of a Trust versus a Will? 3. Tax Planning
Examples of Commonly drafted Trusts
Revocable Trust This is often referred to as a "living" trust. The grantor maintains complete control over trust assets and may amend, revoke or terminate the trust at any time while having the benefits of the trust.
Irrevocable Trusts This type of trust is popular for medicaid planning. An irrevocable trust cannot be changed or amended by the grantor. The grantor has no access to the trust principal. An Irrevocable Insurance Trust may be executed for purposes of Tax planning for the Estate
Credit Shelter Trust A credit shelter trust takes full advantage of the estate tax exemption. The first $5 million (2011-2012) will be exempt. Married couples enjoy a $10 million exemption from federal estate tax.
Law Offices of
Dugas & Associates
Suzanne M. Dugas, J.D., LLM.
810 W. Grand River
Brighton, Michigan 48116
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Frequently Asked Questions